In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs offseason plans have been the talk of the past couple of days and that continues as insiders look at questions the club will have to answer almost immediately. Meanwhile, Mitch Marner was the unfortunate victim of a carjacking on Monday night outside a movie theater.
The Minnesota Wild will need to make a decision on Kevin Fiala and the Golden Knights might have to sacrifice a talented offensive player to figure out their cap situation.
Maple Leafs Questions That Need Answers
Outside of whether to look at Barry Trotz as a coaching option over Sheldon Keefe, the Maple Leafs have some other roster and contract questions Kyle Dubas will need to address rather quickly. Luke Fox of Sportsnet looked at a few of them and prioritized if they will change their philosophy as a team? Do they keep trying to build through offense or do they try to improve their defense? Once that is figured out, they can make other changes.
Among them, goaltender Petr Mrazek and his two years at $3.8 million will likely be moved, if possible. Should the Leafs stick with Erik Kallgren as a backup? Can the team re-sign Jack Campbell, and if so, how much will it cost? If too much, do they go after pending UFAs like Darcy Kuemper, Ville Husso, and/or Marc-Andre Fleury?
What do the Leafs do with Jason Spezza? Chris Johnston reports, that Spezza says he won’t play anywhere but Toronto and still needs to have discussions with management to see if they still see a role for him next season. Spezza said, “I’m a little lost right now, to be honest.”
Which RFAs are still with the team? Do the Leafs give raises to Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren, Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase? Or, should they let them go in trades through other transactions? Meanwhile, the team will also have to determine the status and future of pending UFAs Ilya Mikheyev, Ilya Lyubushkin, Colin Blackwell, and Mark Giordano. Giordano might take a discount to finish out his career with the Maple Leafs but Mikheyev will likely do much better if he tests free agency.
Mitch Marner Victim of a Carjacking
In some unfortunate news, the Maple Leafs PR department did confirm a report that surfaced Monday evening about Mitch Marner being carjacked. They write:
“We can confirm Mitch Marner was the unfortunate victim of a carjacking in Etobicoke on Monday evening. He was unharmed in the incident and the Club & Mitch are thankful for Toronto Police Services’ support. Anyone with information is asked to reach out to Toronto Police Services.”
Could Wild Trade Fiala?
The Athletic’s Michael Russo took a look at the offseason situation facing the Minnesota Wild and Kevin Fiala. The Wild are making his future with the team a priority but it’s not a lock he sticks around. The 25-year-old is due for a big raise following his 85-point season but he didn’t play well in the postseason and that may affect how willing the Wild are in a tight salary cap year to shell out huge money to keep him. They may determine the value is higher if he’s traded.
The Senators have long had an interest in Fiala, and some feel a natural partner could be the Devils, who are looking for an impact forward. Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald has indicated he would consider trading his first-round pick in such a package, though getting the second pick in the draft lottery could change that line of thinking.
source – ‘Wild offseason primer: Kevin Fiala trade, goalie conundrum, priorities and depth chart 1.0’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 05/15/2022
How Likely Is It Golden Knights Trade Pacioretty?
Suggesting Robin Lehner, Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson, Alec Martinez, and Nolan Patrick all fall under the category of potential cap casualties for the Vegas Golden Knights this offseason, Jesse Granger of The Athletic offered an explanation as to why for each. When it comes to Pacioretty, he didn’t think the Golden Knights are interested in moving their best pure scorer but have been willing to make big sacrifices in the past.
Moving on from him now seems foolish. He remains the team’s best pure scorer, and after an injury-plagued season, his trade value can’t be high. Still, the Golden Knights haven’t been shy to unload contracts with little-to-no value in return, and Pacioretty’s $7 million cap hit would open a ton of room to work. In the end, I think replacing his offense is too difficult to justify trading Pacioretty.
source – ‘Vegas Golden Knights roster analysis for next season: Who stays, who goes?’ – Jesse Granger – The Athletic – 05/13/2022
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”